6 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Erectile DysfunctionErectile dysfunction is a common disorder that can be caused by diabetes, heart disease, and low testosterone levels. It affects approximately 30 million men in the U.S. and is more common in men who are over the age of 75, but can also affect men of all ages. Although many people believe that it develops due to age, there are several ways to reduce your risk and prevent it altogether.

1. Avoid Stress

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Stress and tension can cause the arteries to harden, which can make it difficult to have an erection. The more that you stress, the more that epinephrine is released in the body, which goes directly to the arteries and can cause plenty of harm. Opt for taking a brisk walk each day, performing yoga, and avoiding caffeine to manage stress levels.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate doesn’t just make for a tasty dessert, but it can also prevent erectile dysfunction by releasing flavonoids that allow dilating chemicals to be released in the arteries. Eating just 1.6 ounces of dark chocolate each day is enough to increase the dilation of the blood vessels by 10 percent.

3. Get Acupuncture

If you’re not too afraid of needles, acupuncture is a viable method that can prevent psychologically induced erectile dysfunction from developing. It helps to restore the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and is proven to work on 64 percent of men who receive the treatment for at least six weeks.

4. Stay Active

Physical activity will help to prevent erection problems by staying active three to five days each week. Pelvic floor exercises are particularly useful and work to strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle, which allows the penis to become engorged and pumps during ejaculation. Kegel exercises can be performed by flexing pelvic muscles for five seconds before releasing. This can be performed 10 to 20 times in a single workout session.

Aerobic exercise and brisk walking are additional activities that will prevent erectile dysfunction with increased blood flow. Those who are obese, have diabetes, or suffer from high blood pressure will most benefit from the exercises.

5. Quit Smoking

Men who smoke are twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction during their lifetime. Instead of reaching for Viagra to fix the problem, opt for dropping your cigarette, which can reduce arousal. Several studies have found that quitting smoking can lead to thicker, rigid erections and make it easier to become aroused five times faster. After quitting smoking, your health will improve almost immediately as your blood pressure decreases. Blood circulation will also increase in just two to 12 weeks.

6. Improve Your Diet

Maintaining a diet isn’t just important to stay slim, but can also reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. Consume whole grains, fish, vegetables, and fruit while taking a vitamin B12 supplement each day. You can also focus on eating more fortified foods to prevent the condition from developing later in life.